are under constant change. Applications, as well as the IT equipment and
infrastructure that support them, are continuously evolving to better meet organizations’
business needs. Therefore, the initial design of data center becomes almost obsolete
the day after the installation and commissioning is completed.
definitely ways to make strides. In part
one of this series, we discussed benchmarking a data center’s efficiency to
reduce power usage effectiveness, or PUE. This is important when building or
redesigning a data center. Now it’s time to talk processing. Ask yourself: is
the data center mainly used for testing, production, internal processes,
networking or something else? What is the primary business supported by the
data center (e.g. financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, etc.)? What
level of resiliency is required to support this business? Efficiency is also
greatly affected if the data center operation’s scheme includes disaster recovery. All of these
questions help determine the next steps.
the physical attributes of the data
center will have an impact on PUE. Here are a few questions to ask:
temperatures and humidity levels are typically maintained by the data
type of cooling system is used, and does it include free cooling?
old is the data center and the sub-component in it?
the building intended to be a data center, or was it a retrofitted to be
used as one?
the data center have energy reduction features already built in?
the dummy loads being run and if so, why and when?
Location and Design
location can have a significant impact on its PUE. The efficiency of identical
mechanical systems can be drastically different depending on climate. That, in
turn, also affects the hours of free cooling available thereby impacting the
India have abundant solar energy. Building a solar-powered data center is another effective way of
building up energy efficiency. Electricity is often the second or third highest
variable operating cost for large data centers, and solar provides long-term
stability in pricing.
The impact of
PUE on the data center infrastructure design cannot be underestimated. IT
equipment density including the passive
infrastructure cabling, power distribution architecture, cooling architectures,
redundant levels and floor layouts all have major impacts on the efficiency.
Even the best design can result in poor efficiency as operational changes take
place. For example, the increased density in single rack beyond the specified
design value may result in air conditioners having to cool the new hot spot. As
a result, the cooling system is no longer in balance and is less efficient.
PUE is dependent on how operators take advantage of new technologies, how they
manage budgets and time frames, and whether or not they can adapt. They might
have to change their traditional mindsets with progressive views. Only then can
organizations move toward building green data centers.